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818. The Usefulness of Singleness Part 1

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University
The Truth Network Radio
September 16, 2020 7:00 pm

818. The Usefulness of Singleness Part 1

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University

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September 16, 2020 7:00 pm

Dr. Alan Benson continues “Divine Design,” a series about Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood.

The post 818. The Usefulness of Singleness Part 1 appeared first on THE DAILY PLATFORM.

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Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina.

The school was founded in 1927 by the evangelist Dr. Bob Jones Senior's intent was to make a school where Christ would be the center of everything, so he established daily chapel services today. That tradition continues with fervent biblical preaching from the University travel platform today on The Daily Platform were continuing a study series entitled divine design which is a study of Biblical manhood and biblical womanhood.

Today's message on singleness will be preached by Dr. Alan Benson, VP for student development and discipleship. The topic of singleness and actually what I'm going to do is in the next two Mondays. I am going to deal with singleness and marriage, and as you heard in between tomorrow doing split sessions on dating and really come to this window in our series on divine design and after wrestling and working and studying all of those things I really am just super burden to be really really helpful.

That's really what I want to come out of these messages so I really wrestled with where to go with the issue of of singleness in the timeframe that we have and as you know, it's not a simple subject right.

There's all kinds of questions in singleness about what I do. What should I do, is it permanent. Is it not really wrestled through all of that and came down to the place where what I decided to do is I'm I'm going to focus today really.

As I talked about the usefulness of singleness on three primary topics, all of which really if I rebooted and speak at a single retreat.

I would have full messages on the theme of singleness is really something we could spend a semester on if we chose to pursue what I've done is actually going to try today how to touch the mountain peaks in a flyover but I produced for you. Normally, where you would find your discussion guide I produced for you. My whole manuscript and so there's a whole lot more detail there that I hope you will go and read. There's 23 pages.

There was Scripture report writing it for you so that if I touch a section you have a question I want you to go there and read it and then I really want to make another invitation I want to come in dialogue with me. I will do the Q&A tonight at 6 o'clock and I really want you to come dialogue with me, ask your questions and so I want to invite you to come join me in Levinson Hall for that session.

The first thing I want us to do is is really come to the place you have a call to understanding and I think that's something we need on on both directions. God is not an incredibly beautiful thing in building his church and or future expression in heaven. She is a multifaceted multi fabric beautifully woven and intricately made tapestry of every people and tribe and tongue and nation.

She's made up of people of every physical attribute mental capacity, economic, demographic, and racial distinction God himself is put us together by his grace and for his glory and we couldn't have done it by ourselves.

It's a work that God himself has done and is doing the church really only exist because the creative handiwork of God alone in his redemptive purposes and have a people for his namesake. Lehman eyes as I say that there's an interesting and often forgotten about distinction in the makeup of the church that crosses over all the other demographics, but isn't thought about as often as it should be an even more pressing is and thought about the way that it should be, and it is the demographic of singleness, one author, Sam Albury writes this much of what we commonly assume about singleness that is primarily about the absence of good things like intimacy, family or meaningful ministry is either flat out untrue or at the very least shouldn't be true to be single. We often think is to be alone and spiritually hindered. But the Bible paints a very different picture of singleness and he says this. It is a positive gift and blessing from God.

See, as believers, we really in the body of Christ need to steward one another, God calls us to those kind of relationships, and often we don't think of relationships that way. But God has entrusted us to one another. It is no accident that you find yourself in a residence hall room with two people that maybe you never knew before God is calling you to steward those relationships that we things that you learn in that setting that no one else may learn at this juncture in your lives, and God is intentionally calling you to steward those relationships. That's God's design. In fact for the church.

It looks like the one another's of the New Testament we are to love, honor, edify and exhort one another.

We are to forbear, forgive, and pray for one another and this one another and demands a real relationship. Those relationships demand knowledge and understanding genuine care doesn't just strive to know what you think but also how you think we should want to know why people think and feel the way they do. It's that kind of understanding that enables us to steward well the relationships that God is entrusted to an important part of that stewardship and often neglected part is thinking biblically about this issue of singleness. I burden about it having been a pastor. I lived through the demographics of having young people come to church. I read a whole study called making space for millennial's, and it was about facilities making space for them where they feel comfortable where they fit. What names do they use, but more than that. Is there actually space and what we know as the church for those who are young, millennial's do they fit do they have a purpose. Can they work and they serve, they have gifts where they fit. I become passionate about the fact that not only is there space for you and the church. But there is space in the church that won't be filled. If you don't fill it. God has a purpose for you and that purpose is to be discovered during these days of singleness.

First Corinthians 7.

If you want to look there. I won't take you there right now on when a reference.

These passages are all printed in the other material that I hope you will go and read in detail, but in that passage, Paul addresses the topics of marriage and singleness, and so he addresses the unmarried and widows singleness verse eight, the married verse 10 the rest verse 12. But as he doesn't he doesn't community and I love that because it's not like oh here's that section of my New Testament that I three because I'm single or it appears now the section addressing battery because I married Paul speaks to the church he sends messages to single people so that everybody can hear it and he sends messages to marry people so that everybody can hear it and he sends messages to widows so that everybody can hit it Actually is communicating in community so that we hear what God is saying to other people so that we are able to better steward those relationship or the challenges we come to topics like this is you said and you're not married to say on up when I get married.

So is my time to text in chapter the way, there isn't one of those are some of your hearing, your you're married and you say singleness. Yeah, that's not going to be an issue for me. Me see what the Bible says about singleness concerns the whole church will single and married, and what the Bible says about marriage concerns the whole church will single and married in a proper understanding and valuing of marriage and singleness is absolutely essential for all of and so I want to call us to understanding because we are to invest in one another. You see, I believe that there is a vital role for those who are single in the church to play in enterprising and valuing and protecting the marriages of those who are married and I believe that there's a vital role for those who are married in the church, though, that people who are single know that they have purpose and belong, and they serve God and there isn't any class structure within the church over these is and so I want us to start by first rightly assessing singleness and the first thing I think we need to do is pretty obvious, but there's a universal nature of singleness. How do you define singleness, I went looking for a bunch of definitions and what I found was almost humorous.

Does give you one of them. One definition definition reads it is the state before betrothal and after the death of a spouse while this is like really helpful. I thought defining marriage as a state that exists when one is no longer single really doesn't tell us anything will thank you very much. I guess I'm single right. But what what is singleness for what is singleness about and we need to understand that singleness is universal and some of us get married.

That really is what I think the perspective we ought to have. We tied so much. I think of this concept of marriage and and you'll hear me next week. There's a lot to be tied to the concept of marriage. I'm going to make it very very important. In fact, I will make it our primary human relationship. I'm not in any way devaluing marriage. One of the challenges of singleness is that I don't live now because of what I think is next and I don't live now because of what I think is next. Hear me, you'll never be fully prepared for next whether that's marriage, or further singleness see all of us are single to begin with. I hope that's obvious to you.

Most of us who are married will one day be single again, and that's not because I think just of the rise of divorce. It is actually because of lengthening lifespans in the rise of disease more and more people are going to live to be 80 and beyond and they're going to be single again for 20+ years. What I do those years. We often think of this in terms of what we need to learn right is there a purpose in singleness and so typically we go to one, and we say well as children. There are things to beat to be learned, but I really want us to think of singing singleness in a holistic sense there is a purpose for singleness, no matter how long. In God's sovereignty. He intends for it to laugh. There is a purpose in singleness, no matter how long.

In God's sovereignty. He intends for it to last. So they're obviously phases of singleness, I won't spend a lot of time here, but there are differences obviously between those who are single again, and those who are single to begin with there differences between those who are single in adolescence and those who are single in adulthood. So I want us to think in terms of the whole. Think of it universally.

If I'm single. What should I be thinking, how should I be living what should matter to me. So, in light of that than I want us to see the usefulness of singleness and this is where will spend most of our time so the usefulness of singleness singleness is a gift from God that he intends to be used, to serve him in unique ways with unique capacities were going to serve in well with the gift of singleness, we must rightly focus on when narrowed to three things are. There are many more. We must rightly focus on the issue of maturity identity and purity will touch those three issues.

So let's talk about. First of all, the issue of maturity. The issue of maturity. Ephesians chapter 4 verses 12 through 15, and again I will take the whole time to read that, but we have the statement from Paul to the church at Ephesus till we all come in the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the son of God, unto a perfect or mature man under the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they they lie in wait to deceive. We have a very explicit passage of Scripture where Paul states the expectation of God that we are to be maturing and that that maturity looks like Christ likeness.

One of the challenges in the area of singleness and maturities were living in an era that is being marked by what they are defining as deferred or delayed or extended adolescence and you'll see all three of those words that there is this understanding that I have things I need to do college as part of the expectation I'm going to do that but I never got my time.

I never got that time where whatever your thing might be. You get to do so you I never really had that phase right and have other responsibilities. I was so busy with class work and that sort of thing where you should be that I didn't get to play five hours of video games a day before I make any other commitments I really want that time for me and sadly in our day. It is that phase that is coming to define singleness and if that's what singleness is going to be for you for a timeframe I'm here to tell you that you might tragically destroy the maturation process that God has for you spiritually, and socially see just about every child born physically will mature physically every child of God more spiritually will mature spiritually. However, we know that there are specific factors that aid or hinder human physical development issues like nutrition.

We also know that there are factors that influence the spiritual development of God's children as well. And so here we find the divine human confluence in the area of sanctification and maturity is God that works in you both to will and to do his good pleasure and we are to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, and so there's this divine human confluence in the process of sanctification. God is the one that makes it possible and yet he calls me to exercise myself rather unto godliness. Paul writes to the church at Corinth in first Corinthians 1613 or 14. He says this watch, she stand fast in the faith then uses this expression in the King James quit. He like men, be strong. Let all your things be done with charity quit you like men.

I guess we could title at real men quit but that's really not what he saying the expression there that in the middle of these four things I think, therefore, modifying statements of that central statement of quit you like men is actually an interesting Greek word that actually talks about in the language they're becoming a man for Sprint is 1311 says when I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child but when I became a man so tell me what is he counteracting with the idea of man is it man and woman or is it man and child. It's obviously man and child. And so what he is saying that when he says, act like men or outfit yourself like men orcs quit like men. He's actually saying don't be children or if I can put it in the vernacular. He saying to the church at Corinth grow up grow up young people. There is an expectation. All throughout the New Testament that all of us will give concerted effort spiritually to grow up.

You will not become more like Jesus Christ by osmosis.

It won't happen by accident. It really won't happen just because you sit in a Bible class for because you come to chapel four days a week at some point there is a responsibility for you personally to make your own spiritual life a priority grow and what I want you to see is that where you sit right now in singleness.

God is making that a priority for you that God has you in these days of development, so that you will grow up because there's an added responsibility coming later whether that's the pathway of the gift of marriage or the pathway, the gift of singleness.

There is added responsibility. There is added opportunity coming in.

So while you sit in these days. Whether you been single for 30 years, or whether you're now just single is sitting here in college.

There's a responsibility that ought to burn in your hearts that while I have these days I need to focus on maturity. I need to grow. So what is maturity to an interesting question one actually is. I've been working on philosophy of student life. I've studied a lot.

How do we know what maturity is, how do we get to maturity and so I want you to think with me. There's one clear biblical model and that model is the home and in our home.

We know a spectrum that has a beginning and an end. The spectrum of me working with children and bringing them to the place where ultimately they are mature.

Begins with one tool. It is the tool of obedience. That's where I start with my child and to teach them right from wrong.

I meditate some better and best to teach them to make right choices and I'm going to use the tool of obedience and along the way. Relationally, I will be sprinkling in another tool and that is the tool of honoring by the time we get to the end.

I hope to leave them with honoring because they'll be a place probably were there not going to obey me, and that is the journey that every one of you are on and if you think about the days that you are in now most of you are not to return back home.

Most of you will go on to get other degrees you will go on to a career you will go on to marriages.

You'll go on to other paths in life and all of you are going to find yourself in relationship your parents at the terminus at honoring I ask you this question. Are you ready it's easy to say here in your heart is how I am writing but are you really ready.

Are you equipped for that is the honoring is a volitional choice to elevate another and their wishes, their goals, their desires and their priorities. By intentionally showing deference in an area of preference honoring not only requires maturity, it produces it. Character is formed and developed as one learns to practice self-control through the demonstration of loving others, so the time I have. I want to walk us through maturity carefully. Maturity is a values proposition. What is that mean I want to send this quickly to compare two ideas and I really want you to ask yourself this question is that what I'm doing am I ready those changes I need to make Joel talk about a strict obedience model just if you're obeying that's all it is, what is that look like for think with me expectations reinforced with consequences. Don't touch or we know what comes next.

Whatever the consequences are so not to touch right.

It produces obedience, which is learned through a cost analysis. If I do that this is what happens. I don't want that amount or reward may be the cost. If I do that there's reward and I want that and I'm functioning with a cost analysis and eventually begin to ask myself things like, well, how much does that cost me in my willing to pay it and everything is done in a cost analysis can I tell you that relationships today are a disaster because people function relationally with a cost analysis how much will it cost me to lie to you and what can I gain. That's how people approach their employers. That's how people are approaching their spouses see a strict obedience model activates the mind to evaluate right and wrong on a cost basis. What will this decision cost me or gain me and as such, the reinforcement tends to be external and produces behavior modification its external enforcement and I change my behaviors when I go to the other side than what I'm calling on her honoring his explanation reinforced with responsibility. Here's what you need to be doing and now I need you to do it. It produces maturity, which is grown during values analysis. What's the difference is it activates the will to evaluate not just right and wrong, but good and better and even better, and best on a values basis. What is important to me what really matters in this process moves us from seeing that most decisions are not merely simple or unilateral but are complex and have multiple outcomes and impacts that are causing us not just to think, simply, but socially the decision that I make impacts other people. How does it impact those people. Do I care about those people and as such, the reinforcement tends than to be internal and produces heart growth and change maturity as a values proposition. Think about the maturing and secondly is a vehicle for producing community and with this will be done only showing the same comparison strict obedience due to impacting the mind with a cost analysis scenario tends toward self focused decisions based upon gain or loss for produces a law that causes us to think mostly about how much I need you to causes one to modify their behavior in light of that need. When handled correctly with the child produces a proper environment for teaching self-denial, the value of others when applied to those who should be maturing or who should have already matured, it produces a self focus, which will lead to manipulation either.

The authority will come controlling in order to get the response that it wants, and that often looks like controlling behaviors such as anger and guilt and shame for the one being trained becomes manipulative in order to get what they want because the artificial boundaries of command-and-control are viewed as currency to be spent. Thus the well-timed use of demerits.

At the end of the semester honoring it impact on the will with a values analysis is others focused and makes decisions are caring produces a love that cause us to think about how much I value you or how much you need me, and it leads to actions based on that evaluation, it produces a relational focus which considers myself and others. In light of what I value and this leads to critical thinking, which engages mind, will and emotion by processing values and producing actions that are result of choices that take into account what I value.

I ask you, are you maturing are you actually thinking more and more and more about what do I have to do or what should I do.

Are you thinking through the impact of those decisions. What is happening in singleness is this that so many are saying I'll become responsible when I get responsibility. All I'll take care of that when I get there and can I tell you that if you do that it won't happen. I bird perform somewhere between 70 and 100 marriage, every one of them. I do premarital counseling. Many of those I get to come back at a juncture and do counseling again and what I hear in those sessions sometimes is shocking. Can you believe that I would deal a couple and say to them what is the primary issue in your marriage that you're struggling with, and she says to him you tell him, and he says okay I don't brush my teeth and she says that's right. And I told him I'm not kissing him again till he does say really where a husband was a problem with video games. He doesn't understand why his wife is so upset their young married have one child.

He comes home from work picks up his dinner plate that she has made and sold online. He wants to play a few video games. I said so how long do you play typically in a night and he said four hours and doesn't see a problem young people maturity is a human issue for you in these days of singleness pursue turn pray father here's your truth today. Lord I thank you for your were I pray, oh God, that you take the truths that you have for us and brought them into our hearts that we respond personally you're working in our lives.

In Jesus name we pray you been listening to a sermon preached by Dr. Ellen Benson, which is part of the study series about Biblical manhood and biblical womanhood entitled divine design. These daily programs are made possible by the many friends of Bob Jones University and its radio ministry. If you appreciate these programs and benefit from the faithful preaching and teaching of God's word would you consider sending us a special financial gift today.

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We look forward to the next time as we study God's word together on The Daily Platform

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